One of the biggest developments in planting and pioneering ministry in recent times has been the growth in popularity of multisite churches.
As well as sending out teams and planters to start brand new church plants, a lot of churches are also planting new sites of their church, and it is common for churches to describe themselves as 'One Church in X Locations'.
With this comes big opportunities. The pace of planting has rapidly increased as sites have been pioneered. The channels of support for those leading the work are much more developed, and the ownership is shared.
But at the same time there are big challenges. What things should be held centrally and what should be devolved to the sites? How do you develop systems for leadership, teaching, finance and other areas of church life? Because multisite is a new phenomenon, lots of people are trying to answer these questions as they go, and depending on exactly what philosophy you start with in your multisite church, the answers reached vary greatly from one multisite church to another.
To help churches as they navigate these questions, we have put together a program of training webinars and events where we talk to experienced multisite practitioners about different challenges that multisite church throws up and some of the lessons they have learned along the way.
The webinars in the program will take place on Thursday afternoons at 2pm and will include panel discussion and the opportunity for you to ask your questions of our guests. We will also be making the recordings of the webinars available after the event for those who are not able to join us live.
Understand Your Model of Multisite Church | September 19th
For many of the challenges that multisite churches face, there are a variety of different approaches, and these flow from the philosophy of the church. Not all multisite churches are the same. Some are heavily centralised with each site acting like a 'franchise' with a common experience. Others are much more devolved, with leadership, vision, finance, teaching and other aspects of church life operating at a local level. Still others have a model somewhere between these extremes. One of the keys to navigating the different challenges of multisite church is gaining clarity on exactly what type of multisite you are building. In this webinar we talk through the different models of multisite and looks at what the implications of each model are for how you build.
Special Guest: Brad House (executive pastor of ministry at Sojourn Church in Louisville, Kentucky and co-author of 'Multichurch: Exploring the Future of Multisite')
Thursday September 19th, 2pm (UK time)
Creating Space to Bring Through Leaders In Multisite | October 17th
In the first iteration of a multisite church, there may be ready-made leaders who can head up the new site whilst others remain in leadership in the sending site. This division of labour can only take you so far however, and in order to keep multiplying sites you need to bring through new leaders. For a senior leader in a multisite church this presents unique challenges and unique opportunities as many of those potential leaders are in sites that you don't have as much direct involvement in as others. In this conversation we explore some of these challenges and how multisite church offers new opportunities for bringing through new leaders.
Special Guest: Joel Virgo (senior pastor of Emmanuel Church in Brighton)
Thursday October 17th, 2pm (UK time)
Developing Leadership Structures In a Multisite Church | November 14th
Some of the most complex questions to work through in a multisite church are questions of leadership structure. Who has authority over small groups in one of the sites? Is it the site leader or is it someone who co-ordinates all small groups from the centre? How do elders work; are they elders over a site or the whole church? What about trustees? How do site leaders fit in? Do they need to be elders to do this role? If not should there be leaders alongside them in the role? Depending on what kind of multisite church you are building, your answers to some of these questions may differ, but in this conversation we explore some of the different approaches and the advantages and challenges that are contained within them.
Special Guest: Steve Tibbert (senior pastor of Kings Church in London)
Thursday November 14th, 2pm (UK time)
Maximising the Impact of Preaching In a Multisite Church | January 16th
One of the most noticeable differences between multisite churches can be in their approach to teaching in Sunday services. For some churches it is a priority that the teaching is the same at every site, and this is sometimes achieved through the same message being shown via video in all services or through the same preacher travelling round and delivering the same message in each location. In other churches there is a shared program of preaching topics but the actual teaching is delivered by different preachers who are based at each of the sites. In still other churches the teaching program is both decided and delivered locally. In this webinar we will talk about these different approaches and help you determine which approach is right for your church.
Special Guest: Liam Thatcher (teaching pastor of Christ Church London)
Thursday January 16th, 2pm (UK time)
Building Healthy Financial Systems In a Multisite Church | February 2020
When you move your church to a multisite model, you add new pressures into various areas of church life, including adding complexity to the finances. Creating budgeting systems that are comprehensive enough to give the big picture, simple enough for each site to understand their part, flexible enough to adapt to the changing needs of each site and lean enough to be able to fund new pioneering ventures is not an easy thing to do. In this webinar we look at some of the key ingredients in the systems that you build and the principles and values behind them.
How to Effectively Manage a Multisite Church | April 2020
Systems and operation may not be the most glamorous aspect of church life, but they are crucial to making multisite work well. In this webinar we lift the lid on what it takes to manage a church that exists across a number of sites. Whilst some of the application varies depending on the number of sites and complexity of the organisation, this will be a practical conversation that covers principles that are important in any stage and style of multisite church.
Keeping a Pioneering Zeal In Your Multisite Church | June 2020
When you add a new site to your church, this almost always requires sacrifices on behalf of the other already existing sites. People, leaders, gifts, vision focus and finance are now being diverted from them to the new site. Add to this the rip effect of people's friends moving on, and the cost is real. Yet when the vision is compellingly articulated, this is a sacrifice that many people are willing to make for the cause. They may even be willing to make the sacrifice again for a third site, but it is easy to see how there comes a point when a feeling for the need to 'consolidate' emerges, and new pioneering momentum stalls. In this conversation we discuss how to keep a pioneering zeal going without damaging the existing sites of the church.
Using Tech to Increase Your Multisite Impact | September 2020
Over the last few decades, technology has developed faster than many can keep up with. As we are trying to build churches that span different locations, there are lots of technological solutions that can help facilitate this. In this conversation we look at some of the newest apps, software and hardware set ups that can serve you and your multisite church.
Gaining Traction In Deprived Communities Through Multisite | October 2020
In recent times, many networks of churches have struggled to gain traction in more deprived communities, but in multisite church there may be an answer to this. In multisite there can be a fluidity of people, gifting and finance between the sites of the church. Where a site is in an area that takes longer to establish, it can be supported from elsewhere. Where it needs to access a level of resourcing beyond what it can manage itself, the wider multisite church can provide. In this conversation we looks at some real case studies of how multisite has been instrumental in breaking through in deprived communities.
Adopting Churches Into a Multisite Church | November 2020
Whilst most churches that are multi-site have started those sites themselves from scratch, this is not the only route to multi-site. In some situations, other churches see a thriving multi-site and want to join. This presents very different challenges to pioneering new sites, and in this conversation we talk about what it takes to make a site adoption work.